Are you a cereal eater these days? Did you used to be? What can marketers do today to increase your cereal consumption? :-)
As Stephanie Strom reports for the New York Times:
“Cereal consumption peaked in the mid-1990s, according to the NPD Group, a consumer research firm. Still, some 90 percent of American households report buying ready-to-eat cereal, which remains the largest category of breakfast food with some $10 billion in sales last year, according to Euromonitor, down from $13.9 billion in 2000. And the consumer research firm estimates sales will fall further this year to $9.7 billion.”
“The cereal business has been declining, as consumers reach for granola bars, yogurt, and drive-through fare in the morning. And the drop-off has accelerated lately, especially among those finicky millennials who tend to graze on healthy options — even if Cheerios and some other brands come in whole-grain varieties fortified with protein now.”
Click the New York Times’ chart to read more.
In this era of consumer self-awareness, marketers are interested in health-related questions such as these: Do you think YOU are healthy? If yes or no, what criteria are you using? Are you being truthful or rationalizing? How would you describe your eating patterns and level of physical activity?
Recently, Nielsen conducted in-depth research on this subject. Here are some meaningful conclusions:
“Despite the recent explosion of the health-and-wellness industry, one-third of American adults remain clinically obese. According to findings in the Nielsen/NMI Health and Wellness in America report, we literally want to have our cake and carrot juice — and eat them, too. For example, while 75 percent of us say we feel we can manage health issues through proper nutrition, a whole 91 percent of us admit to snacking all day on candy, ice cream, and chips. So, why is there a disconnect between our what we know is healthy and what we actually do? What are the perceptions around ‘health foods’ that prevent us from making better choices? And how can retailers help bridge the gap?”
Click the image to access the Nielsen health-and-wellness report.
When annual sales approach $150 billion, it becomes harder to be agile and flexible in anticipating and responding to the evolving marketplace. This is something that even star companies such as General Electric – whose slogan is “GE imagination at work” — must face.
In GE’s case, it is embarking on new ways of doing business. As Bloomberg Businessweek’s Richard Clough reports:
“GE has enlisted tech entrepreneur Eric Ries to help develop FastWorks, based in part on his bestseller The Lean Startup. As detailed in the 2011 book, Ries’ lean startup philosophy is designed to help companies foster innovation and hasten product development by building imperfect early versions, releasing them to customers, getting feedback, and then ‘pivoting,’ or adapting the products when necessary. Now GE is adopting that playbook to speed the rollout of products ranging from lightbulbs to gas turbines to refrigerators. The company has already trained 40,000 employees under the new initiative, one of the largest in GE’s 122-year history.”
Click the image to read more from Clough.
Procter & Gamble, the long-time world leader in consumer products and the leading global advertiser, is ready to embark on another new strategy. It has tried many tactics in recent years to try to stimulate company growth and profits.
P&G’s latest approach may seem counter-intuitive — to grow by shrinking its brand portfolio. However, this idea does seem on target and reflects the essence of the Pareto 80/20 Principle that relatively few products account for a disproportionate amount of sales and profits.
As reported by Rachel Abrams for the New York Times:
“After years of expansion into areas like pet food and beauty products, Procter & Gamble announced that it would cut as many as 100 brands from its arsenal to focus on others, like Tide, that made the company a powerhouse over the decades. The move is part of a strategy to improve the company’s financial performance by doubling down on about 80 brands that generate 95 percent of the profits and 90 percent of sales, according to A. G. Lafley, the firm’s chief executive. The company, and the industry at large, have faced pressure as consumers continue to spend less than they did before the financial crisis.”
[According to Lafley,] “‘This new streamlined P&G should continue to grow faster and more sustainably, and reliably create more value. Importantly, this will be a much simpler, much less complex company of leading brands that’s easier to manage and operate.'”
Click the image to read more of Abrams’ story.
Photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Diane Von Furstenberg has been a prominent, trend-setting fashion designer for decades. Take a look at the Web site of her company to see what she’s doing now.
Here’s a brief bio of Von Furstenberg by Liz Welch of Inc.:
“Designer Diane von Furstenberg was 27 when she made the first wrap dress in 1974. The iconic design landed her on the cover of Newsweek — and millions of women snapped up her dresses. But when demand faded, von Furstenberg ended up selling most of her licenses to avoid bankruptcy. In 1997, von Furstenberg relaunched her company, which now has annual sales of more than $200 million. The wrap dress, too, made a comeback, and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with ‘The Journey of the Dress’ exhibition, which traveled the globe. And, as the 68-year-old designer recently shared with Inc. contributing editor Liz Welch, she is focused on building a company to outlast any fad.”
Click Von Furstenberg’s photo to read her recent interview with Liz Welch for Inc.